School closures have proven contagious this week.
Dickson and Springer Public Schools both announced today they would close for the remainder of the week because of widespread influenza, strep throat, stomach viruses and other illnesses among their students and some staff. Both will reopen next Monday, along with Ardmore City Schools, which also shuttered earlier this week because of widespread illness.
Springer Superintendent Cynthia Hunter said about 20 percent of Springer Elementary School’s students were out sick
Wednesday morning and the number has only grown.
“We started to see it at the beginning of the school week,” Hunter said. “We saw some positive flu tests and upper respiratory (illness), some strep, and there’s a stomach virus going around. There’s several different things effecting attendance.”
Hunter said many teachers who’ve had multiple sick students have gotten sick as well.
“We’re using the people we typically use to fill in in those areas, but we don’t have a big sub list,” Hunter said.
Unlike Lone Grove Schools, which was forced to close last week due to widespread illness among faculty, it’s mostly students who’ve been impacted at Dickson and Springer.
“I hope this is the end and not the beginning,” Hunter said.
Dickson Superintendent Jeff Colclasure said about 20 percent of Dickson’s total student body was out sick Wednesday morning. He said Dickson Upper Elementary and Middle School were hit the worst.
“The rate is only going up,” Colclasure said. “It was just getting worse as time went on. We’re up 70 kids from (Tuesday) afternoon.”
Both school districts will work sanitizing and cleaning classrooms before school resumes on Monday.  
“Right now they’re spraying down desks, doorknobs, anything kids might touch,” Colclasure said.
February historically marks the peak of flu season. Mercy Ardmore is limiting their visiting hours to help curtail the spread of the disease, and Champion Public Library has signs posted at the door reminding patrons to stay home if they feel sick.